Wednesday, December 31, 2014

And The Tree Is Down for the Count!

Going back a few posts so bare with me.  It was December 23rd and we were sitting on the couch, watching tv, on the ipads, etc.  Nothing really happening at the moment.  Till I felt something hit my shoulder hard.  And I mean hard.

Poor Alaska was scared.  She's in the background.  

Notice, not too many ornaments remained on the tree.  Tree skirt was soaked.

This was after it was pushed off me and pushed back.

Time to try to put it back up.  Trouble was, stand was broken.  So, the boys had to rig something up to get it to stay in place.

Irina seeing what she could salvage.  Ball pit balls were already on the floor.  Lots of ornaments got broken but could have been a lot worse.  Took about three days for the shoulder of mine to get back to normal.

Towels to soak up all the water.  Very sparce looking after the fall.  Now, need even more ornaments.  Keeping an eye out at sales this year.  We were very lucky. 

Big, big things happening around here

There is so much going on at Chaos Manor all at once and a few curve balls this week, that the blog is the last thing on the mind.  We are at the tail end of one of our adoptions and getting arrangements for travel and things of that nature.  Just simply busy.  Throw in Christmas, Irina's birthday, and a broken oven and well, blog is a non-essential.  That being said, it's New Year's and time for more resolutions to keep up with this blog.  LOL.  Most on here though are on FB and better at keeping up w/ FB as you just write short sentences there. 

Our last post was a broken oven.  Still broken.  Lowes said Frigidaire will fix it.  Frigidaire said Lowes would fix it.  Warren then went in to speak with the manager yesterday.  Well, he said their repair people will fix two weeks!  Earliest appointment available is supposedly January 16th.  No cookies, no cakes, no casseroles, no baked meatballs, not as many choices.  Frustrating.  Got so bad that today Bojan asked if it is possible to grill brownies.  Anyone want to drop off baked goodies, please feel free.  We miss our oven!!  I can't make pizza or anything.  And for the inconvenience of someone else coming to stay at our home to watch our kids and not being able to cook, not good.  Maybe I should stand in Lowes with pans full of batter waiting to be baked.  Trying to be patient but really, this is getting annoying.  We understand part of it is the holidays but if you can guarantee delivery same day, why not be able to fix it in less than a few weeks time.  Just my two cents really. 

We stayed home tonight and really relaxed.  Watched Cold Case, CSI and things like that.  Kids are into it.  Most hung out with friends today.  Decided to go to the museum this week.  I have been trying to plan all sorts of things happening all at once.  And until next week is done, not saying what everything is.  We do have court at some time next week for Little Guy.  It should become official then.  I can not wait.  Tons to share, including pictures.  Since I am going nowhere tomorrow, perfect day to do some posts.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Oven....down for the count!

Recently, we received a Christmas gift.  Used it to purchase a new oven/ stove.  We had gotten a super duper deal from the Lowes clearance section.  No hesitation b/c frankly, most our stuff in the house has come from there anyhow.  So, we purchased the stove.  Brought it home. 

See, nice and shiny and pretty.  Uh, huh.  Had to wait a few days to plug it in as simply have time constraints here.  We had no fears though.  

Installed and ready to cook!  Stove worked fantastic.  Then, bojan got a big box of brownies for a present.  Went to put them in the oven.  Nothing.  Thought maybe it was the new digital controls that we are not used to.  Nope.  Oven was ice cold.  Nothing.  

So today I called Lowes.  They said call Fridgedaire.  Called the service people.  They can't do anything till they get a faxed copy of my receipt. Doing that tomorrow.  Then, they can schedule someone to come out here. Earliest...Monday.  So, no Christmas cookie making for us.  No cookies for Santa unless we buy them.  May just buy a box of Oreos.  Turkey is thawing in the fridge but at least we have a roaster to put that in.  Just kind of bummed.  Hoping they can fix it and don't give us a hard time b/c it was a clearance item.  Even if clearanced, should be held up to standards.  Shoot, you can tell the stove hadn't been cooked on even.  Kids were excited to have a stove w/ a handle on it again.  LOL.  Grand scheme of things, this is something so minor.  Otherwise, love the new oven.  

Much more to come post wise the next few days as we are home.  Right now, getting ready to go out shopping w/ Warren.  Oy.  Wish us luck and hoping no crowds.  Can't believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  Really can't.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Flipping for Frogs

Summer is our frog girl for those that don't know. She loves frogs.  Why?  Not sure but she loves them.  See, when we went to get her from Bulgaria, I went with Irina and we went to Target.  This was years ago.  Actually, think there were more of us there but can't remember.  Anyhow, found this cute frog hat and had to get it.  She wore it the whole time we were there.

Summer even wore her hat in the restaurants.  LOL.  Can we say nervous??

Summer with her frog hat on all those years ago.  Notice, it's a little big.  

A little while ago, I posted something on facebook about Summer's favorite hat getting too small and for people to be on the lookout for a replacement hat.  We recently received this cute hat in he mail from an old high school friend of mine.  Sweet Kelly sent her this hat!

She was super excited to try it on and see her new hat.

That day was not just one package for Summer, but two from two different people!  What are the odds?!  She thought it was Christmas.

She pulled it out of the package and was just giggling and smiling.  A hat from a dear friend, Jo.

That look says it all.  Likes the tongue a lot though I have to tell her not to pull it.  LOL.

Sofie is equally excited that she now gets Summer's frog hat on the left.  These two new hats I guarantee will be used for years upon years to come.  And boy are they warm!  I love them and the generous hearts that sent them.  Made a little girl's week to be sure.  Thank you to two very thoughtful friends with hearts of gold. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Arts and Crafts

Lately, we have been blessed with a variety of gifts.  Most recently, some craft items.  in addition, our therapists do some arts and crafts with the kids.  Thought I'd share a few on here.

Our OT worked on these with Sofie and Summer.  This one above is Nik's b/c he wanted to join in.

Sofie and Summer's as well.

Ms. Kimberly brought a box full of goodies.  This loom kit was a hit with Nik.

Sofie holding up a baby doll.  Yes, why of course the child is naked.  It's in our house, you know.

THis truly was a huge hit with Nik.  He could do this all day if you let him.  Ahh, second naked baby doll in the background.

Girls enjoying some bead time.  They love making necklaces.

The young kids had a blast with these paint magnets.  LOved doing this.  Summer about lost her mind when she saw they had a frog to paint.

Sofie getting ready to show off her creation.

She made a turtle and was quite proud.  Was sweet to be given these arts and crafts.  So good for the kids to build skills with and have fun with at the same time.

Allergy Testing and Results

Okay, so this week has been busy.  Today, I took 11 kids with me to the allergist's office including one extra.   It was an experience in patience.  We were not planning on being there two and a half hours!  They did well all things considering.  Trouble is, the older ones were the patients so not like they could assist much. So, Warren was kind enough to call into work and help me out.  He went to work later.  I will cut  to the chase.  I took six kids to be allergy tested.  Only 4 got tested even though all 6 really needed it.  Long story with that one.  Anyhow, Max, Alex, Nik, Little Guy, Summer and Sofie were all allergy consults.  4 were tested as they ran out of time.  URGHH!!!  Deductible was met this year.  Starts over in January and you all know what that means.  Nice timing folks.  But, at least 4 were done that I wanted done. Got the priority ones I thought done first.

Max has a job where he is unfortunately surrounded by his enemies..dust and mold day in and day out.  He has bought a respirator for his job and goggles.  He will be started on eye drops, allergy meds and nose spray.  His reaction were the most severe I'd ever seen.  The welts were incredible size.  Alex has a ton of allergies.  Maybe I can get him to not look like he's on drugs.  Dark circles, watery eyes look isn't becoming.  So, he'll be going on meds.  Doc wanted to do another under the skin test  on Alex for dogs since it came back negative.  Doc was shocked all mine came back negative for dog given we have two dogs here.  I told him it was an unnecessary test as the dogs are going nowhere.  Really, scratch test was completely negative and I saw no point.  Onto Nik who used to have severe asthma as a kid.  But, thought his was more allergy related and right now, it is.  However, we are treating with singulair and forget what else.  And then we have Sofie.  See, her previous doc in another city tested her w/ all sorts of allergies.  Our doc tested and she had none and I found that very, very suspicious.  So, wanted her tested again b/c she shows ALL allergy signs as well as I think she has mild asthma.  She tested positive for quite a few as well.  Doc agrees w/ me that she may be mildly asthmatic.  I asked for a peak flow meter but didn't get one.  Will borrow one as I really want to check her output.  He put her on meds as well and gave her an inhaler.  I said no to all of them for allergy shots. Told him one thing at a time and that I may some things that may seem unconventional.  I take a teaspoon of raw local honey a day.  Also, essential oils.  I have not had trouble.  Neti pot too.  Though I know Nik and Sofie could not do the neti pot.  We will see how they all do.  Then, in a few weeks, get Little Guy and Summer tested. 

Came home and had lunch and let kids play.  Checked older kids' school work and we definitely need to review irregular verbs.  The little boy I babysit for stayed for quite awhile which was wonderful as our kids really get along well.  His mom brought pizza for dinner tonight and we all just hung out.  I let the kids make sugar cookies too.  Then we had popcorn and a movie.  Bojan spent the night with a friend so he's not here.  Max and Alex are working tomorrow.  Therapist comes for Little Guy.  6 of our kids receive therapy so we have therapists at the home 5 out of 6 days.  Lucky we all like each other.  LOL.  Taking the kids to see Santa this weekend and kids have youth group.  Getting things done here and there.  Yet, definitely not Christmas ready.  We'll get there. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Manic Monday

Week is flying by just as fast as the Christmas Season.  Let's see if I can name a few items.

  • 6 kids have allergy testing this week
  • Warren goes to the dentist
  • Lots of therapy...OT/ PT/ Speech
  • House guest has a dance performance
  • Youth Group
  • FAS Meeting
  • Have done zero Christmas shopping
  • Way behind on thank yous
  • Never wrote our Christmas Letter yet
  • Never got Christmas pictures done yet
  • Need to make arrangements for when we will be gone in January
  • Can't believe in a few short weeks Little Guy will be officially ours
  • Babysit this week
  • Max and Irina are working all week
  • Signing up Alex for soccer...Logan doesn't want to play (surprised me)
  • Reni is still looking for a sport.  She has no clue what she wants to do
  • Need to find some art to do for next semester b/c haven't done any yet
  • Waiting to hear from Duke Genetics...still
  • Hoping Little Guy sleeps through the night this week
  • Kids want to go to a youth group retreat in January
  • Younger teens looking to work for some cash for various activities they want to do
  • Need to get started on some Christmas shopping at some point
  • Need to reschedule Warren's root canal
And much, much more happening here at Chaos Manor.  But, it is the season with everything happening at once and it is making it difficult to get caught up on here but I will do my best.  Hey, post yesterday and today, that's progress.  LOL.  Seriously though, more to come!  So many great things happening in our lives and I'd love to share with you all.  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

We love a parade!

Well, we had a pretty low key weekend.  Cleaned up quite a bit in the house and just really relaxed.  No more so than on Saturday.  We had to get ready to go though as our local town was having their annual Christmas Parade.  parking is always the biggest problem and with Big Bird (our big yellow van), even a bigger problem.  Told the kids be prepared to walk.  And walk we did.  We had one extra with us that day.  Max and Alex were working so they didn't come and Logan hung out w/ a friend.  So, mostly a girls' day out.  Beautiful weather. 

Nik and Alyona waiting for the parade to start.

Summer and Sofie (on right) enjoying time with friends.

One of the parade floats.  They handed out coupons for free hot dogs :)  Kids were disappointed b/c this year, hardly anyone was throwing out the candy.

Someone from Guiness World Records was there at the parade as well for the world's largest band.  A bunch of our local high schools all got together to do it.  Kind of neat.  Over 700 people I think I heard someone say.  Cool to watch.  We all watched.  Little Guy did okay.  Had a hard time with some parts.  Best part was this is the FIRST time he rode in his stroller w/ out head banging.  Love it!  Just was a very pleasant afternoon.

We came home and I made hot cocoa for everyone and cookies.  We watched a movie that night and just relaxed.  Was awesome.  A friend online sent a surprise that day.  Said here are some "adoption necessities" for travel for our upcoming court date.  It was a Subway and Starbucks gift card.  Very thoughtful and so needed.  Travel and court are sneaking up on us.  Little Guy will become a Boyd very, very soon.  Can't wait.  For now, it was just wonderful relaxing for an afternoon and watching the kids ooh and ahh at the parade.  Next weekend there is a special needs Santa event.  This Christmas Season is just going way too fast for us.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Meadow Lights

Every year we visit a local light show.  It's great with the train ride, trip to Santa and an old fashioned candy store that we always spend way too much on.  But, brings smiles to young and old so we go.  And where else can you go for just $2 a person and do all that?!  I have some group shots but can not post yet.  In time folks, in time.

Summer and camera hog Alyona.  She is into photobombing pictures now and we're all annoyed.

Again, photobomber.  Good one of Nik and Irina though.

Lights galore!  Beautiful at night on the train.

Warren looking around.  Typically it is packed but we went the weekend after Thanksgiving and on Sunday night.  Empty!  Doing that again next year for sure.  Normally, you can't walk in here there are that many people. 

Dazed deciding on candy.  He will hate me for that picture.

Bojan being funny but I think he just ticked off Logan.  LOL.

Buds just hanging out.  

Oh and did Sofie, Summer and Nik have things to tell Santa.  They were just so dog gone excited.  Fun times.  We really did enjoy ourselves. 

Dog days and decorating

Time to get back to blogging here.  Today, Thursday, was rather busy.  Both recalls were fixed.  then I took 5 of the kids to the dentist for work to be done.  Poor Summer, 4 teeth pulled!  Came home with therapies for four of the kids and then friends came over to hang out with the kids.  Warren went to the cardiologist and also received a good report.  Kids went to bed at a some what decent hour this evening so time to do a little writing tonight.

One day, Alaska fell asleep on Alex.

Seriously, not sure which one was more tired.

Alex trying to hold up the tree.  We put an angel up but when Max tried to straighten it up, the tree was falling.  so now we have an angel that looks like she's leaping off the tree.  Bojan called it a leap of faith.  Funny.

Irina just hanging out after work one day.  Little Guy's favorite thing is to throw all the ball pit balls out of his play pen. 

My redneck decorators ready to work.  Got to love decorating in pajamas.  Such class my kids have.  Nik has shorts on.  Yes, it's actually cold out.  And they could care less.

Not sure what Logan was trying to say here.

Both the boys checking their work.

Not sure why the pics stuck together.  Top one is of course Nik mid-sentence.

Some of our stockings.  Not all were up yet as we needed more nails.  

Decorating was slack this year.  After years upon years, our lights are just dead.  We truly need new Christmas lights for outside and decorations.  I miss all our Christmas stuff.  Still recovering from that hot water heater bursting under the house years ago and destroying all the Christmas stuff.  But, we put up what we have.  Just gives me a good excuse to be on the look out for Christmas stuff all year round.  And that's not a bad thing.  We all really enjoy this time of year.  Christmas Parade is this weekend!  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Houseguest Performs!

Houseguest is 13yo.  Been here for quite some time now and doing great.  She is enrolled in a dance class and loves it.  Well, last week they had their first performance at a local tree lighting ceremony.  All of us went to see her. 

Since I can't show houseguest or pics w/ Little Guy in them, I am limited on selection here.  But, this is Summer w/ her festive headband on.

Sofie really enjoying her seat on her brother's shoulders.  Alex was a great sport for doing this.

Sofie mesmerized by her sister dancing.

Alyona being Alyona.  All smiles.  Well, unless her sisters and her are fighting.  LOL.  

We all had a good time at the dance.  Short but sweet and House guest was all smiles.  And that's what it's all about.  Glad her sibs came out to support her.  Just was pleasant.  Since we missed Santa, on Saturday I took the little kids to see him.  Sans camera just to enjoy the moment.  They loved it!  Even got goodie bags.  It's the simple things my kids love.   And for that, I'm grateful as sometimes a simple moment has the most meaning.  More posts tomorrow.  Sorry only three tonight.  Life happens.